Members of the Grey Bruce Health Services Board of Directors held a very productive meeting on Tuesday with the Honorable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care regarding its proposal to re-build the Markdale hospital.
The meeting was also attended by Jeff Low, Chair of the South West Local Health Integration Network Board of Directors, and Dr. Hamilton Hall, Chair of the fundraising campaign for the new hospital.
“I am very optimistic that we have the government’s full attention on this project,” said Maureen Solecki, President and CEO of Grey Bruce Health Services. “Minister Matthews was very impressed with the plans for the new hospital. She clearly understands the challenges of delivering health care in rural communities, and has asked her staff to work closely with us on next steps.”
Key elements driving the need for the new hospital include the aging of the current facility, the complexity of care required by the large number of elderly patients living in the community, the lack of public transportation and isolation particularly in the winter months. Core services to meet those needs were reviewed at the meeting including the need for ongoing access to 24 hour emergency care, a small inpatient unit, laboratory and diagnostic imaging services, and an OR/procedure room.
GBHS has developed strong partnerships with the SW Community Care Access Centre, the South East Grey Community Health Centre and area hospitals to develop a network of care for the region, which includes both hospital and strong community-based health care services. The plan continues to include locating the new hospital on the site of the area’s long-term care facility Grey Gables.
Area residents have shown tremendous support and patience for this project, and through the Centre Grey Health Services Foundation, have raised over $12 million in donations and pledges toward a new hospital. The Minister is aware of the strong financial commitment from the community to this project, which is an essential component required for the project.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with the Minister’s staff over the coming months to keep moving this project towards approval. We appreciate the patience of the community and our hospital staff over this long journey and our commitment was redoubled yesterday to press forward with the positive reception we received at the meeting,” said Solecki.